Which Size Philips Avent Nipple Should You Be Using?
Baby bottles. Nipples. They’re pretty much standard, so it doesn’t matter which ones you use, right?
Before I had my son, I never put more than a second’s thought into these two items because I used to believe they were all the same and the kind or the size of nipples I used wouldn’t really matter.
So, I stocked up on a bunch and thought I was good to go. Later on, when my son started to have some feeding problems, I did some reading.
An article I read about acid reflux and spit up triggered me to look at some of the spare nipple packages I had in my drawer.
Acid reflux can be a tough thing for a baby to deal with, but luckily there are some baby bottles that make things a bit easier. Check out our guide to choosing the right one!
I realized I picked up a bunch of fast flow nipples and my little guy (who was clearly on slow flow) was getting way too much milk, and not enough suction action.
No mom is perfect and you really do learn as you go.
But, I could have saved myself a lot of grief and less laundry to do (drinking fast flowing milk really hurt his tummy).
Luckily for you, you won’t make the same mistakes that I did.
Newborn nipples are very similar to first flow nipples.
They require lots of suction and output small amounts of milk. Your baby uses these nipples for about their first three months.
They are a little larger than first flow nipples, but not by much.
Some parents completely skip this nipple and go straight to the slow flow ones. You can certainly try them out and use the frustration test.
If your baby seems content with sucking away and the super slow flow, let them be.
If they start to get annoyed or angry, then it may be time to go to a stronger flow, like the slow flow nipples.
Slow Flow Nipples are used anywhere from the first month to the third month of life.
They are small, flexible, and have one hole in them. So, your baby will be getting a bit more with less sucking action than they would with their newborn nipples.
Again, use the frustration test to determine if you should stick with this flow, go back, or move forward.
If you notice your month old baby isn’t able to keep up with the flow, go back to the newborn nipples for a few more weeks.
If they are handling feeding like a champ, you can even try a medium flow. Watch for gas, judge by the amount of spit up, and keep an eye on their temperament before making any decisions.
Variable Flow Nipples are designed for babies three months and older.
Its holes open upon suction effort. If your baby prefers to suck hard to drink, the holes will open wider. If not, it will come out just like a medium flow nipple.
It may depend on the day for your baby and how hungry they are, but many parents prefer using variable flow nipples because it’s up to the baby to determine how much milk they want to come out and when.
These nipples have two holes and some parents keep their baby on these nipples without ever moving to a fast flow.
Fast Flow Nipples are designed for babies who are six months and older.
Your baby uses these if you feel they have a strong mastery of feeding and don’t generally spit up much, get gas often, have colic, or other feeding issues, like milk allergies or acid reflux.
The flow does come out rather quickly because it has three holes, and not a lot of sucking is necessary.
Some babies like these nipples, while others prefer variable flow or medium flow until they are ready to transition to a sippy cup.
It’s fine to try them, but it’s also great to have a wide variety of nipple sizes and flows on hand.
Tips For Choosing & Caring For Baby's Bottle Nipples
- Sanitize your nipples weekly. I often tossed my bottle and nipples into a pot of boiling water every few days or weekly to ensure they stayed germ free and fresh. You can also toss them into your sterilizer with your bottles!
- Toss your nipples if the flow seems off. Because they have holes in them, they will enlarge over time. You’ll know it’s time to go to a new one when the nipple isn’t staying true to flow.
- Keep a few different nipple sizes in your diaper bag and/or car. You’ll never know when you need a spare!
- Keep track of feeding time. If it takes your baby more than 15 minutes to eat, it’s probably time to go to a faster flow.
Who knew that there are so many kinds of nipples to use when bottle feeding?
While it may seem like a lot of swapping and shopping, the right nipples do make all the difference in the world when feeding your baby.
If they’re more comfortable, trust me—you’re more comfortable.
Use this guide to help you along your feeding journey and to help your little one grow and thrive.